Alan Stein, social media influencer and basketball strength / conditioning guru, has a great post on his blog that every youth sports parents should read. The post is call Specialist.
In the post, Alan proves that an basketball player doesn't have to have superior skills and athletic ability in all facets of a game to be great. A player just needs to do at least one facet of the game great to be considered great.
So what should a parent do with this information
1) If your kid matured early both physically and mentally; and if your kid has game compared to all of the other players in his or her area, then develop all facets of his or her game. More importantly continue to challenge them. Sometimes players who are dominant at a young age are never challenged, so they never develop the mental toughness needed to overcome defeats and setbacks when they arise. These players often struggle in their teens when they run up against late bloomers who had to scratch and claw for every achievement early on before they grew bigger, stronger and more coordinated.
2) If you kid is the late bloomer and has trouble in certain aspects of the game due to limitations, then help them develop confidence in what they can do well at this stage of their development. For example, my daughter is the smallest girl on the court every AAU game she plays. She does not have the strength nor the size to match up in the paint, but she has a spot on the team. She is a very strong front court defender and she is, perhaps, the best outside shooter on the team. She practices her outside shot almost daily.
She also plays on a team in a less serious league where the girls are smaller. She does this so that she can work on the other aspects of her game. Perhaps one day she will catch up to the others in size and strength and be a featured player - until then she is content knocking down threes, draining foul shots and getting points off of steals.
My daughter is a good player. She is not a great player, but she is working hard to perhaps one day be a great player.
The Main Point
Your kid does not need to be an athletically dominant - featured player to be considered a great player. Help your kid find the strength of his or her game. Then encourage them to work extra hard at that strength to master that aspect of their game. Of course, they need to work on the other aspects of the game to exploit opportunities when they arise.